Here are some of the articles we’ve been reading around this office this week.

What Will Health Care Look Like Once Smart Speakers Are Everywhere? – “Studies have suggested that, by 2020, 50% of all searches will be conducted by voice and smart speakers are expected to reach 55% of U.S. households by 2022. It is no different for physicians. In a nationwide survey of pediatricians conducted by Boston Children’s Hospital (not yet published), 62% of respondents said they have used voice-assistant technology, and one-third own, and use, at least one “smart speaker.””

Why Process Is U.S. Health Care’s Biggest Problem – “It takes more design time to create a care model that builds in quality and efficiency, but without that work upfront, the technology doesn’t matter and, in fact, only increases costs. This thinking is not new. Many industries from aviation to automotive to nuclear power have been applying this concept of “process before technology” for a long time. The safety and quality results in those industries is second to none.”

Crazy Microsoft Is The Best Microsoft – “The new Microsoft has learned to make money again by investing in cloud technologies and going after the enterprise market. Great. Good. Fine. But forgive me a little for preferring the other Microsoft. The one that attracts some of the world’s finest researchers to build crazy things it can never possibly monetize, or will fail hilariously when it tries. That’s my favorite Microsoft. And that Microsoft just released a series of wild, haptic motion controllers that solve the problem of not being able to touch objects in AR and VR worlds.”

The Best Mentors Ask These 8 Questions – “Mentors can be invaluable in providing insight to overcome obstacles, Fain says. However, protégés may be reluctant to share the challenges they are facing, or may not have really thought them through. Asking about them outright allows the mentor to explore the challenges with which the protégé is struggling, and also discuss the individual’s strengths and weaknesses in addressing them.”

How a North Dakota Farmer Built an IoT-Driven Farm – “Greg Meandel is not your regular farmer - he loves to build and program IoT projects that remove the complexity from daily farm life. For instance, one of his many IoT projects is an excavator that can be started remotely. By using an Electron (cellular hardware that connects devices to the internet), he can remotely heat up the excavator’s block heater, which helps start up the engine.”

What Design Chiefs At Uber, IBM, And Microsoft Care About In 2018-And Why – “After years of being ignored, designers are getting the recognition and investment they craved, whether they’re working for a tech giant, a healthcare startup, or a white-shoe firm. But with acceptance come new challenges. To find out how design priorities have evolved and will continue to evolve in 2018 and beyond, we talked to design chiefs from some of the most innovative companies and recognized brands, including IBM, Microsoft, Uber, and Visa.”

DirectX Raytracing is the first step toward a graphics revolution – “At GDC, Microsoft announced a new feature for DirectX 12: DirectX Raytracing (DXR). The new API offers hardware-accelerated raytracing to DirectX applications, ushering in a new era of games with more realistic lighting, shadows, and materials. One day, this technology could enable the kinds of photorealistic imagery that we’ve become accustomed to in Hollywood blockbusters.”

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